*description of character*

You have questions? We may have answers.

Moderator: Forum Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
Coreybush11
Posts: 407
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:47 am

*description of character*

Post by Coreybush11 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:04 pm

Hi
I have seen it a lot recently, especially on Skaljard (not unrelated to its role as a containment/new-player friendly environment, I imagine) that the following occurs:

Note on a Message Board
Title: THIS GUY WAS MEAN!
Body: *description of THIS GUY* HE KILLED ME IN THE MINE! KILL HIM!

What I wanted to ask was if it is explicitly discouraged to describe characters with a simple "*description of THIS GUY*", without any other stated description, adjectives, etc. I felt like there was a thread about this before but I didn't know how to find it. Does this all make sense?

Once, someone actually just emoted *gives description of OTHER GUY* while talking to some others, or something along that line. I generally as a personal rule just ignore when someone gives me an emote that *describes* someone like that, because it really gives me nothing to go on except their name. But it's getting a little hard to ignore because of how so many seem to be doing it.

thoughts? opinions? derails? not that urgent or necessarily game-breaking tbh just wanted to bring it up

User avatar
DM GrumpyCat
Dungeon Master
Dungeon Master
Posts: 1763
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:47 pm

Re: *description of character*

Post by DM GrumpyCat » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:09 pm

Yeah, this is very cheesy and definatly not approved of at all, especialy for situations like that.

if you want to describe the guy that killed you, make an effort to actually describe him, either by what's written or what he looks like.
""As an after effect to this, DM Grumpycat appears to have gone mad with random-power.. If the Guildhouse still stands, along with the whole city by the time they settle.. You're welcome to it." - DM Wish in a PM.

User avatar
DM Titania
Dungeon Master
Dungeon Master
Posts: 1445
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:44 pm
Location: The Seeliecourt singing with Tinkerbell

Re: *description of character*

Post by DM Titania » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:27 pm

We can remove such posts when they do happen as well.
Please don't feed my sister.

User avatar
Opustus
Posts: 471
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:07 pm

Re: *description of character*

Post by Opustus » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:06 pm

Yeah, *describes the guy* is plain lazy and a total buzzkill for me. Although I'm interested to hear why someone would do this over actually describing the culprit.

User avatar
msterswrdsmn
Posts: 973
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:33 pm

Re: *description of character*

Post by msterswrdsmn » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:54 pm

I've personally thought it was kinda....I dunno. I don't wanna say lazy, but seemed like taking the easy way out to describe someone. That said, I don't expect everyone to go into master-level descriptions of people every time, either. I guess its the "If you don't expect it, you won't be dissapointed" mentality? From what i've seen in my time playing?

-Players that don't know a better way
-Theres underlying issues (OOC grief, player hate, etc)
-The person being described is being unfair (real or percieved), and other players are going "screw it. If he's going to be a cheeseball so am I". Stealth-ganking and traps that go "you've been killed by Trapsetter Bob" without actually seeing Trapsetter Bob comes to mind.

I've got an idea of what this topic is about, as half a dozen people did it for a certain character in the tin mins yesterday, so yeah. Thats what i've seen thus far.

User avatar
Coreybush11
Posts: 407
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:47 am

Re: *description of character*

Post by Coreybush11 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:55 pm

My guess is they didn't take the time to register what the character actually looked like- it is rather hard to remember someone's clothes, specific descriptive traits (if they had any listed) after a heated altercation, other than their name.

But thanks to the DMs for responding! I wonder about how to go curbing stuff like this before it happens. It's certainly not the players' faults, they see it happen already and it continues to be repeated without any other input on the matter. I was thinking maybe some sort of RP etiquette sign for new players would be helpful, listing common no-nos like this. Other reminders would be the stealing once per day rule, suggesting that they walk (instead of run) at least in town, etc. Stuff like that.
msterswrdsmn wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:54 pm
I've got an idea of what this topic is about, as half a dozen people did it for a certain character in the tin mins yesterday, so yeah. Thats what i've seen thus far.
I've seen it happen before this time as well- my example wasn't meant to be literally ripped from the in-game one, also. Had no personal involvement in any of it.

User avatar
msterswrdsmn
Posts: 973
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:33 pm

Re: *description of character*

Post by msterswrdsmn » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:57 pm

Thought so. I thought it might be related cause, while this does happen, it happend -alot- yesterday. Guess I was wrong!

Its hardly a new thing, though, like you said

User avatar
MissEvelyn
Arelith Silver Supporter
Arelith Silver Supporter
Posts: 442
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:43 pm
Location: East Coast

Re: *description of character*

Post by MissEvelyn » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:23 pm

Wouldn't this fall under the Godmoddingrule?
It cannot not be Godmodding (or at the very least Metagaming) when you're using emotes and asterisks in place of actual words.

I agree that it's also just plain lazy, and takes away from Roleplay. I'd much rather RP with someone who uses actual words when describing something (no matter what it is) rather than a cheesy *describes the topic at hand*.

User avatar
Marsi
Posts: 347
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:34 am

Re: *description of character*

Post by Marsi » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:53 pm

What about in paintings/artworks?:

"The image shows John Doe with his sword drawn ..."

I see this a lot, and would say I'm guilty of it myself. Does it occupy a grey area seeing as it doesn't serve to expedite hostile roleplay?

What about:

"The image shows a white skinned, black haired man with his sword drawn. He can be recognized as John Doe."

This provides a little more information, yet it's effectively the same just with a little legal padding. Plainly describing figures based on the limited physical characteristics of NWN models is rather tedious to write and read (unless there'd some defining characteristic), and without providing a name even a player who roleplayed a close friend of the portrayed would not recognize them -- even if their character would.

Thoughts?
He can neither read nor write and in him already there broods a taste for mindless violence. All history present in that visage, the child the father of the man.

User avatar
Huschpfusch
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:20 pm

Re: *description of character*

Post by Huschpfusch » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:08 pm

And how would one describe one of those characters that actually have no description whatsover or just the generic text of character creation?
"Oh look, an unidentified magical wand - let`s just see what it does by randomly using it in battle!"

User avatar
Baron Saturday
Posts: 1735
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:34 am

Re: *description of character*

Post by Baron Saturday » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:16 pm

Huschpfusch wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:08 pm
And how would one describe one of those characters that actually have no description whatsover or just the generic text of character creation?
Head model, hair and skin color, equipment and weapons. The whole WYSIWYG aspect, basically. Using *description of character* is problematic because it removes the described character's agency - it doesn't matter how they disguise themselves, because the people looking for them have no way of knowing that they are in disguise.
Cortex wrote:dont listen to baron for good builds hes bad mkay

User avatar
DM GrumpyCat
Dungeon Master
Dungeon Master
Posts: 1763
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:47 pm

Re: *description of character*

Post by DM GrumpyCat » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:13 pm

Marsi wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:53 pm
What about in paintings/artworks?:

"The image shows John Doe with his sword drawn ..."

I see this a lot, and would say I'm guilty of it myself. Does it occupy a grey area seeing as it doesn't serve to expedite hostile roleplay?

What about:

"The image shows a white skinned, black haired man with his sword drawn. He can be recognized as John Doe."

This provides a little more information, yet it's effectively the same just with a little legal padding. Plainly describing figures based on the limited physical characteristics of NWN models is rather tedious to write and read (unless there'd some defining characteristic), and without providing a name even a player who roleplayed a close friend of the portrayed would not recognize them -- even if their character would.

Thoughts?
I'd say the former myself. Which is to say, it enhabits the grey area as it doesn't serve to expediate hostile roleplay.

Yeah, it's not terribly classy to say, for example: 'Oh you want Joe the smith? Here's a description of him: *describes Joe the smith.* but it's not the worst thing in the world or anything.
LIkewise it's probably better if pictures do have something like a proper description of the character, or at least something like *'This image shows a figure that can be recognised as John Doe to those who know him...* but it's likely not game breaking or anything.

But if it's due to, or in response, or a precurser to hostile rp, if you think the other player might feel upset, or cheeted by a simple *describes John Doe* Then, simply put- don't do it!
msterswrdsmn wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:54 pm
I've personally thought it was kinda....I dunno. I don't wanna say lazy, but seemed like taking the easy way out to describe someone. That said, I don't expect everyone to go into master-level descriptions of people every time, either. I guess its the "If you don't expect it, you won't be dissapointed" mentality? From what i've seen in my time playing?

-Players that don't know a better way
-Theres underlying issues (OOC grief, player hate, etc)
-The person being described is being unfair (real or percieved), and other players are going "screw it. If he's going to be a cheeseball so am I". Stealth-ganking and traps that go "you've been killed by Trapsetter Bob" without actually seeing Trapsetter Bob comes to mind.

I've got an idea of what this topic is about, as half a dozen people did it for a certain character in the tin mins yesterday, so yeah. Thats what i've seen thus far.
These points are valid - and this isn't something we'd ban anyone for or anything - but it's still something we would discourage, and ask players to avoid.

Generally we'd ask that players

- Learn from there mistakes (we all make them!)
- Try not to let stuff get them down. Maintain a positive and fun attitude! It is, after all, only a game. Love and trust your fellow player as much as possible, life is too short for hate!
- An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Be the better person! Karma is, in an odd way, often a thing. If you show your fellow players respect, trust, and provide them with fun rp, you'll be honestly suprised by how often that's returned to you, in my experience.
""As an after effect to this, DM Grumpycat appears to have gone mad with random-power.. If the Guildhouse still stands, along with the whole city by the time they settle.. You're welcome to it." - DM Wish in a PM.

User avatar
Opustus
Posts: 471
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:07 pm

Re: *description of character*

Post by Opustus » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:30 pm

Marsi wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:53 pm
What about in paintings and artworks?
...
Thoughts?
I don't see any problem with this. The only reason why I see the *describes the person* problematic is because of what Baron said, that it removes the other player's agency.

In paintings and artworks, if one put in the description "This statue is an eminent representation of Paush" the only issue would be that I would not know what Paush looked like at all and could only summon the image of Satan as depicted in South Park or the logo of Diablo.

User avatar
Elaetheus
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:50 pm

Re: *description of character*

Post by Elaetheus » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:50 pm

Not to condone such, but take note that the described situation is happening on Skal which of all servers is experiencing the greatest amount of new players, many of them running swords open in town all the time (and that is not the worst).

Above it was said “they don’t know any better”, and I deem that indeed possible. The character in the mentioned note was already making some noise around town, so I presume that further makes it easier for someone to slip while writing a note.

Is it proper, the way it was written? No. Is it understandable, given what Skal is? I think so. Seasoned nwn players tend to forget that the RP server learning curve is not the easiest one to ride, especially when you’re new (not to mention things like not being a native speaker).

Skal makes for some wonderful interactions being the entry hub for newcomers. It also has people with rule-breaking names standing in the centre of the town. I am not sure what is the best solution to that. Maybe more attention from the DMs to Skal. Maybe accepting this as something that will happen from time to time: after all, the amount of decent in character interactions in Skal remains strong.

I can be mistaken in the concrete case of course, grieving or laziness cannot be excluded.

MoreThanThree
Posts: 385
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:06 pm

Re: *description of character*

Post by MoreThanThree » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:03 am

*describes our character from behind*
nothing personnel, kid :)
Petrifictus wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:29 pm
"surface trash"

User avatar
Seven Sons of Sin
Posts: 1500
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:40 am

Re: *description of character*

Post by Seven Sons of Sin » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:22 am

It's been going on for years. I think you just need to be positively enforce alternative ways of this kind of roleplay. Unless the situation is about a griefer, I have always tended to ignore the *describe John Doe* when it's about rabble-rousing or witch-hunts. Give villains or antagonists the benefit of the doubt - it makes the server better.
Marsi wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:48 pm
because the narrative wills it.

User avatar
Durvayas
Posts: 1746
Joined: Sun May 31, 2015 6:20 am

Re: *description of character*

Post by Durvayas » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:17 am

Baron Saturday wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:16 pm
Huschpfusch wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:08 pm
And how would one describe one of those characters that actually have no description whatsover or just the generic text of character creation?
Head model, hair and skin color, equipment and weapons. The whole WYSIWYG aspect, basically. Using *description of character* is problematic because it removes the described character's agency - it doesn't matter how they disguise themselves, because the people looking for them have no way of knowing that they are in disguise.
This doesn't work if you are trying to describe 'Villainous Cretin(disguised)' , who you saw commit a crime and beat his disguise check;
Problem being the character in question wears all black and a generic 5gp helm, and has zero description. If you broke their disguise but they have no description at all, they're not giving you anything to work with. Their face is as blank as a mannequin. It can only be chalked up to cheeze or laziness.

Being frank, if someone is trying to be unrecognizable because they intentionally put no effort into their description, what really do you have to go on? Their race? Pointless, there are hundreds of any given race. That they wore black? You just described half the server. In an instance like this, you almost HAVE to put *description of ____* because it becomes a case where there is literally nothing else to differenciate the PC from anyone else. Thats the other player trying to cheeze around the disguise system entirely, and in my opinion, its perfectly justified to put *description of ____*, because you've been given no choice.

Your character saw and broke the disguise check. Your PC KNOWS what they look like, regardless of the PLAYER on the other end trying to beat the system. They tried to prevent you from having anything to write down, you've nothing you CAN put down but *description of character*.

If they aren't going to have any faith in you to roleplay that they were disguised properly, or they were too lazy to bother, I don't see any compelling reason that you should let them off the hook like "Lol, I guess my character didn't hear them speak, eyeball their height, or see their eyes; Don't know what color those are, haha."

*Description of character* is a reactant to not being given enough to go on to actually put a description of a character down. Its my opinion if you have no description at all, you should have your RPR dropped to 10; You're not playing a fleshed out character, you're playing something with no defined features. There is so much detail people can RP with in a description. Smell, accent, height, build(muscular or not), eye color, hair color, gait, unique mannerisms. If a sewer rat has more description than you do, what business do you have having 20RPR?

Without details, you OOCly deprive other players of the means to describe your character. You deserve the cheese of *Description of character* because you fed them too little to work with intentionally to begin with.

User avatar
Marsi
Posts: 347
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:34 am

Re: *description of character*

Post by Marsi » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:46 am

Durvayas wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:17 am
Baron Saturday wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:16 pm
Huschpfusch wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:08 pm
And how would one describe one of those characters that actually have no description whatsover or just the generic text of character creation?
Head model, hair and skin color, equipment and weapons. The whole WYSIWYG aspect, basically. Using *description of character* is problematic because it removes the described character's agency - it doesn't matter how they disguise themselves, because the people looking for them have no way of knowing that they are in disguise.
This doesn't work if you are trying to describe 'Villainous Cretin(disguised)' , who you saw commit a crime and beat his disguise check;
Problem being the character in question wears all black and a generic 5gp helm, and has zero description. If you broke their disguise but they have no description at all, they're not giving you anything to work with. Their face is as blank as a mannequin. It can only be chalked up to cheeze or laziness.

Being frank, if someone is trying to be unrecognizable because they intentionally put no effort into their description, what really do you have to go on? Their race? Pointless, there are hundreds of any given race. That they wore black? You just described half the server. In an instance like this, you almost HAVE to put *description of ____* because it becomes a case where there is literally nothing else to differenciate the PC from anyone else. Thats the other player trying to cheeze around the disguise system entirely, and in my opinion, its perfectly justified to put *description of ____*, because you've been given no choice.

Your character saw and broke the disguise check. Your PC KNOWS what they look like, regardless of the PLAYER on the other end trying to beat the system. They tried to prevent you from having anything to write down, you've nothing you CAN put down but *description of character*.

If they aren't going to have any faith in you to roleplay that they were disguised properly, or they were too lazy to bother, I don't see any compelling reason that you should let them off the hook like "Lol, I guess my character didn't hear them speak, eyeball their height, or see their eyes; Don't know what color those are, haha."

*Description of character* is a reactant to not being given enough to go on to actually put a description of a character down. Its my opinion if you have no description at all, you should have your RPR dropped to 10; You're not playing a fleshed out character, you're playing something with no defined features. There is so much detail people can RP with in a description. Smell, accent, height, build(muscular or not), eye color, hair color, gait, unique mannerisms. If a sewer rat has more description than you do, what business do you have having 20RPR?

Without details, you OOCly deprive other players of the means to describe your character. You deserve the cheese of *Description of character* because you fed them too little to work with intentionally to begin with.
I don't think I've ever been caught in a situation where I've been completely unable to describe an assailant (for example). Even if they're wearing the most generic clothing and helm, there are still nuggets in there, such as their weaponry, the way they talk (write), hangouts, etc. There's always little mistakes. If they've gotten being generic down to an art for the express purpose of killing people and remaining elusive, then that low quality of roleplay will be self-evident and warrant a report. Well roleplayed hitmen who want to adopt a generic appearance will roleplay that rather than attempt to game the player themselves.
He can neither read nor write and in him already there broods a taste for mindless violence. All history present in that visage, the child the father of the man.

MoreThanThree
Posts: 385
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:06 pm

Re: *description of character*

Post by MoreThanThree » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:58 pm

Durvayas wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:17 am
*Description of character* is a reactant to not being given enough to go on to actually put a description of a character down. Its my opinion if you have no description at all, you should have your RPR dropped to 10; You're not playing a fleshed out character, you're playing something with no defined features. There is so much detail people can RP with in a description. Smell, accent, height, build(muscular or not), eye color, hair color, gait, unique mannerisms. If a sewer rat has more description than you do, what business do you have having 20RPR?
*Description of a character* is reactant to not knowing enough about your victim to actually put a description of a character down. It's my opinion that if you can't describe at all, you should have your RPR dropped to 10; You're not playing interactive RP, you're playing PvP with no defined features. There is so much detail people can RP with when a character gets described. Smell, accent, height, build (it's listed in the description no matter whomst is being examined), eye color, hair color, walking style, unique weapon and armor. If a sewer rat gives more interactive RP than you do, what business do you have in having 20 RPR?
Petrifictus wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:29 pm
"surface trash"

User avatar
Baron Saturday
Posts: 1735
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:34 am

Re: *description of character*

Post by Baron Saturday » Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:47 pm

My post was mostly relevant to the current situation in which -disguise doesn't function.
Cortex wrote:dont listen to baron for good builds hes bad mkay

User avatar
-XXX-
Posts: 388
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:49 am

Re: *description of character*

Post by -XXX- » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:41 pm

I tend to view the *describes character x* emote as a lazy shortcut circumventing the necessity to learn a character's name in order to forward the narrative.
This, from my personal observation usually happens when the player doing it focuses on winning rather than roleplay, because not knowing the name of an enemy that your character is pursuing can be a great substance that you can build a plethora of interactions with other characters on, and can actually turn out to be more fulfilling and enjoyable than actually catching and confronting the pursued game.

User avatar
Durvayas
Posts: 1746
Joined: Sun May 31, 2015 6:20 am

Re: *description of character*

Post by Durvayas » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:59 pm

Baron Saturday wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:47 pm
My post was mostly relevant to the current situation in which -disguise doesn't function.
Ah. Well mine was more broad in that I feel it has more relevance when -disguise does function. With the current limitations, it is effectively a moot point, given how broken it is right now, and will remain, until NwNX is functional again.

My point was that *description of character* is often a tool of last resort for people who haven't been given a better option. Are there people who use it egregiously to cheese? Sure, probably, but there is also a legitimate circumstance for its reasonable use.

Post Reply